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Here are a couple of things we are trying to achieve.

Our staff currently uses a bunch of desktops and laptops. Around 30-50 of the staff, most of them are laptops (mix of HP and Lenovo). Most using Win 7 Professional, a minority using XP. What is the best way to:

  1. Manage pushing the windows updates to everyone's computer since not every one installs the updates by themselves?
  2. Managing inventory through a software so that we know how many computers are there, who is using which one, which are currently being used and which ones are in repair?
  3. Good to have feature would also be able to install software remotely and perfom maintenance remotely?

I am fine with a solution that may not solve all the above so would love to know which one can help with most of these issues.

We use Windows Server 2008 R2, mostly for User Authentication.

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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Look into WSUS for updates. Do you have any group policies defined (Think: different update policies for in-house systems versus laptops)? For inventory, Spiceworks is a good start.

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+1 for WSUS, an invaluable tool on any Microsoft-centric network - just be sure to have plenty disk space available to store the updates. –  Mike Insch Jul 28 '11 at 22:46
    
+1 for Spiceworks @Mike Insch, You really don't need that much. We've got 9 products on less than 40 GB. . . –  surfasb Jul 29 '11 at 4:25
    
Disk space is important to consider before you install it. A lot of people don't realize how much diskspace WSUS potentially consumes, and end up spending some time moving the repository. In regards to (2) check out EventSentry (eventsentry.com), it includes software, hardware and logon tracking capabilities. Disclaimer: I work for netikus.net. –  Lucky Luke Jul 29 '11 at 15:21
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